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Photos: Smiling mascot asks Fukushima kids to gargle to ‘stay safe’ from radiation — Radioactive sparkles on happy children

Published: November 9th, 2012 at 1:43 pm ET
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Title: Cartoon bird warns Fukushima children of radiation
Source: AFP
Date: Nov. 9, 2012


A grinning bird mascot has been enlisted to teach Japanese children in Fukushima how to stay safe from the radiation that escaped from the region’s crippled nuclear power plant.

Kibitan — a plump, yellow cartoon character with stubby wings and boots — is warning youngsters to stay away from puddles and ditches, where radioactive particles accumulate.


In a leaflet issued by Fukushima’s disaster taskforce, the character, inspired by the region’s narcissus flycatcher bird, asks children to promise they will wash their hands and gargle with water when they get home.

A smiling Kibitan explains what radiation is and cautions that it can make people sick if it gets inside their body.


Environmental campaign group Greenpeace charged last month that heavily- populated areas several dozen kilometres from the plant have radiation levels as much as 13 times the legal limit.


See a leaflet featuring the cartoon character here

Published: November 9th, 2012 at 1:43 pm ET
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23 comments to Photos: Smiling mascot asks Fukushima kids to gargle to ‘stay safe’ from radiation — Radioactive sparkles on happy children

  • markww markww



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  • Sol Man

    Yes, Mark! This is all beyond very sick behavior!

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  • Max1 Max1

    So gargle with Hemlock… yea, that's the answer.

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  • norbu norbu

    This is sick. Tricking children.

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  • amberlight amberlight

    This is straight out of The Onion. You can't even parody sick propaganda like this! And what's with the Western style cartoon characters? Is that supposed to give this bullsh*t greater credibility?

    Genocide, pure & simple.

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  • MarroJJ MarroJJ

    LMAO .. Gargle? That's like we used to practice in school for a nuclear attack… see a flash, the tuck your head between your knees, etc (to kiss your a** goodbye) LOL

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  • ProfitOfDoom ProfitOfDoom

    Well it might be said that Japan has become or is soon to be a nuclear rogue state … the entire nation is like a super bomb … 54 reactors and all the spent fuel … how will they be stopped … then there's the American threat that is much larger … $$POD$$

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  • vivvi

    Just wondering how much radioactive crap they expect can be removed from the body by gargling. What about the particles you already swallowed? Wouldn't it make more sense to GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE? It's hard to believe they are seriously suggesting this nonsense will solve the problem.

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    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      Kibitan – the Yellow Bird of Death – is just warning (in a non-threatening way) that only kids with bad oral hygiene or mouth-breathers are in danger of ingesting irradiated aerosols and particulates. The constant, invisible tritium plumes STILL spewing from the spent-fuel pools every day don't count. At least for happy kids with good oral hygiene.

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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Exclusion zone needs to be widened so people aren't wallowing in radiation. Possibly hundreds of kilometers, or more.

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  • or-well or-well

    Next up – The Tep-J-Gov-Co Baby!

    The Tep-J-Gov-Co Baby,
    spokes-mascot most cute,
    gets a spot on TV
    to Sad Spirit Rumor refute.

    "Like Fukushima Daiichi I messed in my diaper
    but except for rash itchy now I'm clean wipered!
    I threw up my feeding but had on my bib,
    it just needs a cleaning like Daiichi will get!
    I sometimes need burping to get rid of gas,
    so does Daiichi, that's why there's vent stacks!
    Sometimes I start crying and shed tears of water,
    so does Fuku Daiichi – that's why it has filters!
    I need rest so I nap, so does Fukushima,
    so it's gone cold shutdown. Night Night Fuku dreamer!"

    The Tep-J-Gov-Co Baby is so kawaii*
    I just want to eat him!
    Preferably fried.

    kawaii = cute, basically.
    Cute image characters, or mascots,
    are very prevalent in Japan.

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  • JustmeAlso

    Let the scientits raise the background level of radiation and call thyroid cancer and premature death of kids, normal..

    Smile and gargle

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  • lickerface lickerface

    What next? Hello Kitty leaflets?

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  • First, let me say evacuation should have been and still is the best thing to do. Especially children.

    That said, I see nothing wrong with teaching children mitigation techniques. Children should also know and understand the dangers of radiation contamination. They get to inherit this legacy so they might as well start early.

    I think the choice of the yellow bird native to Fukushima is not appropriate. I wonder how many of those real life birds are surviving or will continue to survive in the near future?

    I would have chosen a Snowball character. That would also help to demonstrate the accumulative effects of radiation.

    Seriously though, the discussion of how the reality of fallout and the dangers of Nuclear Power are told to children is an important matter.

    I am not a child psychologist but I do know that certain things are age appropriate and how to discuss traumatic issues with children is critical.

    Are we going to 'teach' them it is safe and to not be afraid or will we allow them to be aware of the 'reality'? That's a choice every parent gets to make now. That is truly regrettable.

    Here were some suggestions and some disagreement on how kids should be informed.
    Enenews – April 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm ·

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    • ion jean ion jean

      So to tell kids the truth, they need to show those little sparkles as they stay active and travel through the cow into the milk they drink, the food they buy from as far off as California and Idaho, and how those little Sr90 sparkles lodge in their bones and teeth, etc.

      Japan is contemptuous, always has been a nation of smart, kind people led by some gangsta idiots!

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  • or-well or-well

    It's hard to believe this pamphlets info isn't already known by Fukushima parents.
    Is it being mailed out – or just available online for download?
    I suspect the latter. For one thing it costs the prefecture less.
    I see it as saying, look, here's a few places in the environment you should avoid, other than that, it's OK.
    Handwashing is good, gargling – better than nothing, but this is so minimalist as to be insulting.
    BUT, it does fit the plan to keep people in place and have those who left the prefecture return.

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  • or-well or-well

    "The rain! The rain!
    Come inside quick!
    There's plutonium!
    "Onesies, Twosies, Threesies – Stop!
    Kids gotta go in when the sky's hot!

    Foursies, Fivesies, Sixies – Jump!
    Feel 'round yer neck in case there's a lump!

    Sevensies, Eightsies, Ninesies -Fall!
    Out comes yer hair so the Doctor ya call!

    Tensies, Elevensies, Twelvesies – A Dozen!
    Yer Sister got cancer and so did our Cousin!"

    "Oh they'll adapt,kids are resilient."

    So say the leaders with reasoning reptillian,
    Uncaring that by their acts they are in fact killing them.

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  • Andres Arce Andres Arce

    the japaneses have sacrificed the pac-man image in their final hour.
    it's a whole world coming down for occident.

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  • The Blue Light.

    I think the birds stubby wings might be a sign of damaged DNA from the radiation, much like the damage to the peoples brains who thought up this evil and vicious propaganda, death may well be too good for them.

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    • Yes, it reads much more honestly now.

      "…Kibitan — a plump, yellow cartoon character with genetically deformed wings and legs — is warning youngsters to stay away from puddles and ditches, where radioactive particles accumulate…"

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